Sunday, June 19, 2016

33


Today, I woke up in a pool of milk, and my first thought was...BATTLE OF THE BASTARDS. SO EXCITED. (Now that it's over...omg my heart is still pounding. I can barely even function. Unbelievable.) After that,I remembered it was my birthday. Like that wasn't a gift enough (THANK YOU HBO), I then pumped what I think is an all time record high amount (spoiler: the bottles were still not filled). Happy birthday to me!

I feel like there's a lot of pressure (from myself) to think of something extra special to do on my birthday to make sure it's somehow different from every other day. I was trying to think of something to do, but then I realized that all I really wanted was to spend time with my family. And that made me realize that I'm pretty lucky to get to do that "special" activity every single day.

Like most people, I was really apprehensive about leaving my 20s and hitting the big 3-0. My 20s were so much fun, but my 30s have truly been phenomenal so far. When I turned 30, I desperately wanted to have a baby and we were really hoping it would happen soon. I was 26 weeks pregnant on my 31st birthday and couldn't have been more thrilled about it.

31, still in the awkward pregnant or fat? stage.
Last year was the first birthday I celebrated as a mother, and it was wonderful.

32
I didn't think things could get better, but I NEVER would have predicted that I'd be ringing in 33 years with not one, but two absolutely beautiful, amazing children, and of course, a wonderful husband and father.
Started the morning with iced coffee on the porch and some baby stink eye.
Ignore my face, thought we were taking a selfie
These boys are my world.

I also got to enjoy some time with my girls this weekend. Saturday, I went to my friend Rachael's baby shower. I just love celebrating mothers to be - they have no idea how glorious and fun their life is about to become!

The only picture I got was Royce in his fancy suit, but trust me the expectant mother was gorgeous.
As soon as I pulled up outside my house, my friends were arriving for my birthday girl's night! Eric made us watermelon sangria and pizza on the grill (and cleaned up, score), and my BFF Casi made blueberry goat cheese pie. Sounds weird, tasted great.


On my actual birthday, we hung out at home in the morning then brought the boys to the playground. After that, Eric took Dalton grocery shopping for dinner ingredients then home for a nap while Royce and I met Casi at a coffee shop downtown to finally try the famous nitro iced coffee.
It did not disappoint. 
I considered leaving Royce at home and having a totally kids free outing, but I really didn't want to. I've kind of left him before, also for coffee, shocking, but that was just one time to run to the local Starbucks which is like a mile and a half from our house. Logistically, we had a bottle ready and everything, but the thought of being away from Royce for several hours just made me feel anxious and unsettled and like I wouldn't enjoy myself as much because I would just be too eager to return to him. Not because I was concerned about him or anything, but because he was a part of me for 9 months and I've kept him in close proximity to me in the 6 weeks since his birth and I'm not ready to change that yet. I'll have to spend plenty of time away from him in his life, no need to rush it. Especially on my birthday.

When I got home, Dalton was just waking up and Royce actually stayed asleep in his car seat once in the house (a rarity), so I got to enjoy some one on one time with this cool dude.


We played with his water table, took some walks, and just engaged in general shenanigans while Eric grilled us up a delicious birthday/Father's Day dinner.

Burger, sweet potato, corn on the cob, and leftover sangria, enjoyed on our patio. 

I meant to make a cake, but the weekend was too busy with having fun, so I just ate some Wegmans bulk bin chocolate after Dalton went to bed. Good enough. 

What was your best birthday? Mine was probably 23, the year of the Ms. New Booty (long story). 27 was also good, when my sister and I convinced everyone we were twins.




Wednesday, June 8, 2016

#twoundertwo - one month in

My writing abilities aren't my finest currently. Here's a list of random things on my mind.

  • I finally got Dalton to sit still long enough to try a Snapchat filter. I've been trying for so long. He wasn't impressed, but I loved it.

Amazing.

  • I forgot the utter hell that is a newborn crying while in the car. Horrific. Obviously driving is no picnic with a crying child of any age, but at least with a toddler, you have options. Snacks, songs, toys, the possibility that they will just get over whatever is wrong and stop, etc. In my experience, newborns only want to be fed, to be picked up, or may calm down if you give them the pacifier they spit out for the 457th time in 20 seconds. None of the above is an option while driving, unless you have really long arms (for the final choice), which I do not. Poor little Royce gets himself so worked up that he will be soaked in sweat by the time I'm able to stop and get him (and not because he's hot, it only happens when he's mad and the van has second row air vents anyway). 


  • I am weirdly dying to work out again, and I can't wait until my doctor's appointment to get cleared (except I can, because time is flying by way too fast and Royce is getting big more quickly than I would like). Of course, when I think of exercise, I'm picturing my former, in shape self, and the reality will most likely be quite different than that. Still, I look longingly at my treadmill whenever I'm in the basement. 
He's already a month old. Time, SLOW DOWN.
  • Speaking of time slowing down, Game of Thrones only has 3 more episodes in this season. WHY. Can we talk about how completely amazing this season has been? 
  • Nitro coffee. It's the new big thing in iced coffee and now I'm obsessed with trying it. I'm meeting my friend next week for our birthdays at a BBQ place that has it? So random. 
  • Some big important firsts around here (side note: typing that made my inner monologue go "and his big important wheels got stuck"...name that book). 
    • I managed dinner and bedtime solo, and everyone  (even me!) got to sleep in a timely fashion with no major catastrophes.
    • I took the boys on not one, but two solo outings. On Friday to the playground (it counts?) and on Sunday, to the big ass farmer's market (for my Rochester friends, our version of the public market).
    Again, survival all around!
    Don't let his face fool you. He loved it (especially since there were food samples and I bought him a smoothie).

    I know most moms do all those things well before the four week mark and don't make a big deal over it, but I still think it's exciting and worth noting. It sounds like I'm getting major wife points, taking both kids on a Friday night and Sunday morning, but it was just so Eric could supervise a school dance and then mow the lawn.
  • We went to Sesame Place! It's a Sesame Street themed amusement park outside of Philly. We got groupons for admission months ago, since we could take advantage of going before school was out. Dalton doesn't watch Sesame Street, or any TV, all due to our superior parenting #noscreentimebefore2. Ha, kidding, we've totally tried but he's such a busy kid he has NO interest in TV whatsoever, but in real life I'm still going to chalk it up to my amazing mom skills. Even without knowing any of the characters, he still had a great time. They have a whole toddler water park, toddler rides, and a huge character parade. It was awesome. Dalton not only didn't nap all day (we knew he wouldn't, this kid does NOT nap on the go, much like his mom), he stayed awake on the two hour drive home after a hot, napless day at the amusement park, happily chattering away to me in the car. What toddler does that?
You would think this would tire him out?

  • That awkward moment when a friend asks what you are headed to Target for and the answer is "I heard they have these great bath paints in the dollar section and this dish soap that actually removes breast milk film from bottles" and then you hear yourself and are like...what is my life. They actually had neither of these items, and I still spent $75. FYI, though, Amazon had the soap and it does work! Someday I'll learn to affiliate link things and make bank, but today is not that day.
  • We started Royce on bottles. I was weirdly emotional about this and didn't want to do it. It meant I had to start pumping and head down that annoying road of watching my freezer stash and counting oz and cleaning parts. I hate it. It turns something I love (breastfeeding) into something confusing and stressful. But I have to return to work later this summer, so it had to be done. Luckily, so far he's taken them with no problems, and I'm so relieved and thankful for that. 
Big brother, always helping.
  • Between the bottles and a decrease in the cluster feeding, I've had some really solid one on one time with Dalton the past few days. 
    Go ahead and ignore the bags under my eyes.
                                       
Usually it's at home, reading a book/playing in a room/taking a walk just the two of us. Yesterday, we even went out to Trader Joes. It was really nice to be able to focus all my attention just on him, but at the same time, it felt odd not to have Royce with me.                                                            
He even joins me when I blog. 
Much like when Dalton was a baby, I really miss Royce whenever I'm away from him (and I've only actually left the house without him twice for brief trips) and just feel unsettled, like something is off.
I want this, all the time.
 It's crazy how when a child joins your family, you truly can't believe there was ever a time without them. 
How did I even live without these faces?
  • I miss my pregnant belly. I never really felt that way last time, but this time, I find myself staring at pregnant women and missing the feeling of little legs kicking inside me. It's strange because having the baby on the outside is so, so much better, and there's so much I do not miss about being pregnant. Every time I pick up something off the floor I get excited about how it doesn't feel horrible. And I can EAT and not feel like I'm going to vomit after two bites. It's glorious. And also sad. #hormones #allthefeelings
  • Father's Day falls on my birthday this year...so who gets to play the "it's my day" card? Let's vote. Although I did spend Mother's Day in the hospital after getting my abdomen sliced open...just saying. 
  • This time with my boys is absolutely heaven on earth. I know I've said it before but I can't even get over it. This morning, like most mornings, I woke up when I heard Royce fussing. I grabbed him, kissed him and cuddled him for a minute, then unswaddled him and went downstairs. Poured myself a cup of coffee and sat down to nurse him while Dalton fed me cheerios and gave both of us kisses and entertained me with his silliness. When he was done, Dalton helped me make banana bread in our pajamas while Royce snoozed in his bouncer. Does life even get better than that?! Plus, we went to Olive Garden for endless soup, salad, and breadsticks for lunch in the middle of the workday on Monday #winning.
  • These two are actually the best. Fact.
What's your perfect morning? Mine used to involve running, but now it's toddlers and babies, hands down (but only my own).

Thursday, June 2, 2016

#twoundertwo - an update

This picture pretty much sums it up. 

I've really wanted to post, but, see above. I started this post in a rare moment when both boys were napping. In baby beds, aka on their own. Then it took me all week to keep adding things until it was sort of complete, once again most likely making my writing sub par. Even with both of us here, things can quickly take a turn towards chaos. The other night, Dalton ran into the bathroom, dropped his baby monitor into Royce's bath, then peed everywhere. RIP monitor. Good thing we have a small house. 

And good thing they're cute. ;)


Here's a little update on how we are all doing.

Me


Physically, I can't believe how quickly I felt like I recovered. The first week was rough, and painful. It was hard emotionally not being able to do anything at all with Dalton, other than maybe reading him a book if he sat beside me. Eric even brought Dalton to the bathroom with him because I was nervous about not being able to pick him up when he began his usual death wish activities. I actually didn't really do anything at all, other than feeding Royce, and showering. I think that was the right choice, because during the second week, I suddenly felt like nothing had ever happened. Certainly not major abdominal surgery. Now we are 3.5 weeks out, and I'm feeling shockingly great. I'm still taking it fairly easy,  but I can go for walks, play with Dalton, and basically just behave as a normal human again. 

Emotionally, I feel fine right now, but realize that could change at any moment. I didn't get hit with the major hormone crash until more like 6 weeks last time, so it's no surprise that I'm doing well right now. Really, I feel overwhelmingly lucky that Royce is doing so well and Dalton is adjusting. Having this time to be home with my boys feels like an amazing gift, and I'm loving every second of baby cuddles and toddler shenanigans. We've had to really force ourselves to send Dalton to daycare at least a little bit each week (so come August there isn't hell to pay). There's just so many fun activities for kids during the work day, and when else are we going to get all this time to spend together as a family?

I've gotten a lot of comments on how brave I am, going out so soon after having a baby. I'm pretty sure I don't deserve them, especially since I haven't gone anywhere by myself with both kids yet. Yes, I've brought a tiny baby over to a friend's house, but it's not exactly like I'm a solider on the front lines. However, I did go to Storytime at the library the day before Royce was born, and then all four of us went the following week, when he was six days old. So that was pretty fun, since everyone was shocked that I was pregnant the week before and already bringing a new baby! Royce will clearly be a genius, since he's been attending Storytime since birth (and also in the womb). But again, I'm ridiculously lucky to have Eric home with me. I doubt I'd be doing all sorts of stuff if I didn't have that. 

Dalton:

Baby model

Dalton's reaction is so different than I would have predicted, in such a wonderful way. He never really showed any interest in babies. I expected he would be upset with anything that affected him, such as me not being able to play with him when he wanted me to. Honestly, I wasn't even sure he would notice Royce, and if he did, I wasn't sure he would realize he was a human. But Dalton loves his brother. He's obsessed with him!

He suddenly seems so big!

Every morning, when Eric gets him up, he immediately runs upstairs to see us (but really, Royce). He constantly wants to hold his hand and kiss him, and most recently, hold him. He's unbelievably gentle with him, in a way that he is not with anyone else.

All the pictures of them together. I love it so much.


Dalton has paid close attention to how we care for Royce and is always trying to help. When Royce first arrived home, it was still very cold out, so we often kept a blanket on him. Now, Dalton is constantly grabbing his blanket and running over to cover Royce. He helps me burp him, and goes insane with excitement when we say it's time to change Royce's diaper. He RACES into Royce's room and demands to sit on the changing table. His job is to put the dirty diaper away for us. Once or twice, he's even come over and squeezed my boob while Royce is nursing?! Royce hasn't had a bottle yet, but I know Dalton will be thrilled to help when it's time for that. He already found an empty bottle and tried to feed Royce, and he loves practicing the bottle with a big brother book he has. In fact, Royce has already started cow's milk, when his big brother decided to share with him. I'm pretty sure I blotted it all out of his mouth with a burp cloth. Probably.

The inmates sometimes run the asylum. 

Royce:

Sleepy smile!

At his last pediatrician appointment, Royce had already gained almost a pound over his birth weight! So I'd say he's doing great. He's eating and sleeping in intervals around the clock, as newborns tend to do. He's sweet and cuddly and adorable and has that amazing newborn smell and I want to snuggle him and watch him sleep all day. He seems to be adjusting pretty well to life on the outside. I had no idea how sturdy newborns were until I saw one living with a toddler.

Survival of the fittest

We started him on a pacifier and cloth diapers this week. He seems cool with both. Other than that, not much to report. No disrespect to Royce, it's just that he's too little to do much of anything yet. Now that I have a tiny bit more parenting experience under my belt though, I can't wait to see his little personality start to emerge. It's still kind of blowing my mind how much I love him already.


Eric:

He's good. 


I was going to say more, but I'm really tired and already been working for a week on this post, and I figured he's the family member people are least interested in. No offense. 

Royce's stomach is super tiny so he's mainly eating nonstop, which means the divide and conquer strategy has Royce being my little buddy 24/7 and Eric has Dalton. We're doing pretty well with switching when we can though, so we each get some one on one time with the other kid. After a week of being out of commission, I appreciate my time playing with Dalton even more. 

Overall, two under two is crazy and awesome.


Sunday, May 22, 2016

Baby Stuff I didn't use the first time around

This post is kind of about the topic identified in the title, but, as usual, I do a lot of rambling too.

One of the things I loved about being pregnant the second time around was that I didn't have to experience the terror and confusion of trying to figure out what we needed to own to successfully care for a baby. It was so much easier to just dig stuff out of the basement or have whoever I lent it to return it, rather than trying to create a registry of things I'd never even heard of. However, even though we just finished with the baby stuff, I've discovered some new things this time around. Nothing that is mandatory or required, but all things that make my life a little easier. I'm pretty mad I never knew about them or tried them the first time. Here they are so that expectant mothers or people who are considering having another child can benefit, or you can just read about crazy baby inventions for your own curiosity.

Hand pump




I've written a lot about pumping, but with Dalton, I only ever used the double electric pump. Towards the end of breastfeeding with Dalton, around 10 months, the great clogged duct debacle of 2015 happened. I went to Babies R Us and bought a hand pump in desperation. It did not help, and I didn't understand why people sung their praises. Seemed like a lot of work for very little payoff.

With Royce, I haven't started pumping yet. The pediatrician told me I could go ahead at his one week checkup, and I was like, thanks but no thanks. I'll be doing plenty of pumping in the near future, and while I want to build up a freezer stash, I have no desire to start yet and/or risk an oversupply.

(Side note - I've finally started to understand the difference between medical advice and parenting advice from the pediatrician. She said I should pump so Eric could give Royce a bottle and give me a break. Sounds nice, but I would still have to pump when he ate, and I hate pumping, so that wouldn't actually be a break. While I appreciate her concern, I'd rather wait.)

Anyway, I got off on a tangent there. The point is, I'm trying to postpone breaking out the electric pump, but a few times, I've been so engorged that it's painful and Royce was sleeping. I  grabbed the hand pump and used it for a couple minutes just to get more comfortable. I was really impressed with how efficient it was and it was so much easier to grab than setting up the whole electric pump. I'm thinking I might just keep it by the bed for that reason.

Moby 

I used the Ergo with Dalton, up until I was nearly 30 weeks pregnant. I loved it, and so did he. I definitely plan to use it again. But I didn't love using it with the newborn insert, and it seemed too bulky when I was just wearing it around the house in the early days while he was tiny.

Dalton at 3 weeks old, I was so sleep deprived (so much more than this time!).

My friend lent me her Moby, because I heard they work better with newborns. Moby wraps seem to be a love or hate thing, but I am loving it. It's way more snuggly with a tiny baby, and even though it does take a little more time to put on than the Ergo, I'm getting faster with it.

I should have taken a picture when I used it yesterday, because we went to a birthday party and I actually did my hair and makeup. But when I cropped this picture to hide the mess in the background it cropped out my eye bags, so not a total fail.

Obviously, with a toddler, it's pretty necessary to have two hands free since he's constantly putting his life in danger.

Truth.

My Brest Friend 

Ridiculously terrible name, awesome product. I had the Boppy (basically a C shaped pillow) with Dalton and it worked fine, but he always slipped down between the pillow and me while I was nursing. I randomly bought this when I saw a never used one for sale for $8 on our local Facebook exchange group, before I was even pregnant again. I figured I would throw it in the closet and hopefully nurse a newborn again eventually. 


It goes all the way around your waist and clasps, so there's no gap for the baby to slip in between and is overall firmer and holds a tiny little newborn up better. In fact, I even nursed Royce while I typed part of this post! And it has that little pocked that you can store stuff in like Lanolin, chapstick, and chocolate. Which I keep meaning to do and keep forgetting, because mom brain is real. 

Milk catchers

Speaking of mom brain being real, my friend that lent me the Moby also lent me this handy little thing called a "Milkie". It sits in your bra and catches any milk that leaks from the opposite side while you nurse. I'd heard really good things about it and was super excited to try it out. As I was finally setting stuff up for baby time around 38.5 weeks, I remembered it and went to get it out. I couldn't find it anywhere and it drove me completely crazy and I looked everywhere I could think of all week. I still haven't found it. This is why I generally try not to clean. I like everything where I can see it, on my living room floor, to avoid these types of problems. 

After a week, I decided to give up and just order these Avent ones another friend recommended. I only leaked with Dalton in the early days, so I felt like it was a now or never thing if I planned to try it. 



I am obsessed with these. After less than a week of using just those (no pumping!), I had enough milk in the freezer for a whole day of daycare. I'm so mad that I just threw away so much milk in breast pads with Dalton. I'm glad I bought this brand too, because I heard with the Milkies it's easy to spill the milk, and I've moved all around wearing these, changed diapers, etc, and nothing has spilled. Plus, you get one for each side, and with the Milkies you only get one. 

Stella and Dot necklace

I didn't really know anything about this jewelry. A few weeks before Royce was born, my friend had a Stella and Dot party, and I showed up mainly for the people and the food. Then I loved their engraved necklaces, and I really wanted one with both my kids' initials. I thought it would be nice when I went back to work and really missed them it would help me to feel connected and all that crap. Of course, I couldn't order it, since at that point we didn't know what the sex was and the initials for our boy and girl names were different. The party was open for orders online for 3 weeks, which was the day after my due date, so we joked that I could order one from the labor and delivery room. Royce kindly arrived a week early, so I was able to pull myself together enough to order a necklace in time! I love it so much. I guess technically it's not exactly baby gear but it's something awesome I never had before. 

Selfie where it's hard to see and backwards because my hair looks good and I want to pretend I have myself together.



Snuggle Nest


First night home!

One thing I was really excited about that another friend loaned me was the snuggle nest. It's a cosleeper that goes right in your bed. I used this the first night home with Royce, and it was really nice because I could pick him up with very little movement. You don't realize how much you use your abs getting in and out of bed, among other things, until you have them sliced open. With Dalton, Eric had to pick him up from the rock and play every time he woke up for the first week or so. This time, we slept separately as part of our divide and conquer strategy (I get up with the newborn, he chases the toddler all day). I don't like how that kind of makes him seem like a jerk because it's not like that at all, I suggested it and if I need him I just call and he comes right in to help me. I'm just a lot more confident this time and since Eric can't lactate, he's kind of useless for most night needs so I figured there was no point in both of us being sleep deprived. Also, Dalton has woken up a few times since Royce came home, so that falls to him. So don't get any ideas that he's anything less than a stellar husband and father.

Running the show at library story time last week.

Anyway, after the first night, Royce woke up a bit from the fog of being born and figured things out. Since then, he's not such a big fan of sleeping in the snuggle nest, the rock and play, or anywhere that's not my arms. I'm pleased to report that unlike last time, this is not stressful in the least. I know it will pass, and until it does, I love snuggling with him. I'm also all too aware of how quickly the time will come when he jumps off my lap and runs away to explore like his big brother does now.

Seems like a lot of my friends have babies that just go to sleep places other than their parents' arms, right out of the womb. Like they just lay down and sleep at night and don't scream to be held at all times. I know because people ask questions like "how long does he go in between feedings?" and "how many times was he up last night?". These questions assume that: there was time in between feedings (not really, it's an all night boob fest over here), and that there were definitive periods of waking up during which I was coherent enough to keep track. I know people really do have these magical unicorn babies, because I've met them, but it's not been my experience. But let me reiterate - not complaining! I love my snuggly, affectionate boys and that's just part of the package with them! (Full disclosure - the affection is all one sided between Royce and I currently, but I know he'll come around.) Plus, when babies cry to be held...it's an easy problem to solve, and I like easy solutions, especially when they include holding cute babies.

I'll take all the cuddles I can get from these sweet little guys!
We have not initiated any of the times Dalton has held Royce! It's all his idea! We asked a couple times when he first came home, but he wasn't interested, so we dropped it. Then suddenly, this weekend, he can't hold his little brother enough. I die.



Who had a magical unicorn baby? Go ahead and brag. Or share how your baby refused to sleep if you didn't. 


Monday, May 16, 2016

Rambling thoughts about my newborn and time in the hospital


I'm not one for inspirational quotes or cheesy platitudes. When Dalton was born, I found myself a ball of mush, realizing a lot of those over the top emotional statements were true. Well, here I am again. While I suspected I would probably love kiddo #2 as much as my first, now that he's here and it's actually happening, I can't even believe it. It's true though. Things like "my heart is so full" is not really something you'll generally hear me saying, but I really do feel it. These two beautiful boys are absolute perfection, and I can't even get over my good luck to get to spend all my time with them right now.

First picture as a family of four
After the excitement of finding out it was a boy, I was, naturally, dying to meet him. Eventually, after they got him cleaned up (so probably actually like 5 minutes), they brought him over and then Eric held him while I was being stitched up. Someone in the OR casually mentioned Royce was rooting, and that made me extremely anxious and I was freaking out about getting to feed him as soon as possible. First mom guilt with this kid - laying here like a lazy ass getting stitched up after surgery, withholding food from my child. I kept asking when I could nurse him.

In the recovery room, I got to nurse Royce right away, which was great, because it took hours before I could feel my hands and stop shaking enough to feed Dalton. At the end of my pregnancy, I had started to get really eager to breastfeed again. However, while I was looking forward to it, I was also nervous, because there's so much that can go wrong. Dalton was relatively easy to breastfeed - overall, things went pretty smoothly, even with a tongue tie at birth. While we did have our challenges, the worst ones came later on in the game, so I could deal with them because I was past the insane hormonal postpartum period. While I'd like to say I am realistic about a second child being different and potentially using formula, I'm not truly there. Logically, it makes sense, but I loved breastfeeding Dalton, and I wanted that again.

Recovery.  Beautiful.

While we're certainly not free and clear just yet, Royce latched right on in the recovery room and never looked back. He nursed for something like an hour and a half, and he's probably spent about 96% of his life on the boob since then. I thought I knew what cluster feeding was before. I was wrong. Dalton was actually fairly regular (for a newborn) with feedings every two hours or so. Royce just nurses all day and all night. He honestly rarely even goes an hour in between feedings, although probably some of it is for comfort and I'm not sure if he's really drinking much. I'm thrilled that it's going so well, and I feel it's made the first week pretty easy. He's barely cried, mainly just for diaper changes. He's a happy camper if he's on the boob, and I can provide that, which means we're all staying pretty happy. I'm also really hoping that it's great for my supply. It's forced me to just sit and do nothing, which is exactly what I need for recovery right now. The only downside is that I feel bad, since Eric has gotten very little time with him, but he has his hands full with Dalton and he knows its just temporary.

Royce isn't a big fan of being put down, and wants to be held at all times, as newborns tend to do. At least in my two experiences.



So we pretty much just snuggle nonstop, and I pretty much love it. I appreciate it even more now that I know how fleeting it is. While I can't wait to get to know Royce better and discover his personality, I want to freeze time at this cuddly smushy baby stage.

I'm feeling some weird sadness now that his birth is over. I certainly didn't expect that, since I spent my entire pregnancy anxious about the logistics and emotional impact of leaving Dalton. And I think we can all agree that labor and delivery isn't anyone's favorite part of parenthood. Still, there's something just so special about meeting your child for the first time, and it's obviously such a rare experience.

A special experience that includes this special gift. 

Anyway, all my fears about Dalton were, naturally, unfounded. While he definitely missed us, he had a lot of fun with his grandma and grandpa while we were in the hospital. I didn't worry much about him at all, partially because they kept the pictures of him having fun coming, partially because it's amazing what a distraction giving birth, recovering from surgery, and not sleeping can be.

After I nursed Royce, we hung out in the recovery room for awhile. It was so much better than my first time there. I didn't have the uncontrollable shaking, and they let me have ice chips. Doesn't sound like a huge deal, but it was. They took Royce to have a bath, and us to our room in the Mother/Baby wing at about 11:30pm, which was perfect, because my mom and sister were just arriving from NY. Even better - the night nurse gave me the green light to eat in the morning, AND, more importantly, have coffee. This was huge because last time I wasn't allowed to have anything until the following night at dinner. After everyone met Royce, it was time for bed.

Royce slept for like 4.5 hours in the nursery (rooming in - not for us). Eric actually had his own bed in the room and passed out. I DID NOT SLEEP. Like literally, slept zero. I would doze off, then wake up to the beeping of my machines or the calf sleeves that constantly inflated and deflated on my legs, look at the clock, and every time maybe 5 minutes had passed. I finally did fall asleep after feeding Royce, around 6am, but then by 7:30 nurses were coming to check my vitals, the cafeteria was calling to ask if I needed breakfast, etc. Typical hospital life. Even my iced venti Americano didn't do much for me (but it was delicious). I kept nodding off mid conversation with people.

I tried to get it together for an exciting morning - my two boys meeting! I actually wasn't that excited about it, because I wanted to keep my expectations low and not push things. Of course, I was dying to see Dalton.

It was anticlimatic for sure. I think he was really scared by all the machines I was hooked up to, and wouldn't even look at me at first and just clung to Eric. He did get over that, luckily.

I missed my big boy.

However, he showed no interest in his new baby brother.

New siblings can't compare to new surroundings to be explored.
Until it was diaper change time. That, he found fascinating.


The next day was the hospital day I'd been waiting for. My epidural came out (at least in my experiences, they leave it in for the first day post c-section, which is a GREAT time to be numb), my IV came out, and I was officially unattached to machines and allowed to walk to the bathroom by myself. The epidural made me insanely itchy, which never happened last time. I kept asking for benadryl, which they gave me through my IV. It helped minimally with the itching and not at all with my general exhaustion and lack of intelligence. I took my first post partum shower, which is one of the best experiences in life, painful as it may be. 

This time, Dalton visited after his nap, and things went much better. 

Still no interest in Royce, but at least he wasn't terrified of me. 
I'd been hoping to spend Mother's Day at home, but I had to stay another day. It turned out to be really nice though, I got to cuddle both my boys, and spend time with my own mother. Plus, our hospital prep paid off, and we were prepared to stream Game of Thrones in our room.

Monday morning, we were ready to peace out as soon as we were discharged. Amazing how much less scary it is taking a baby home the second time around. The nurse had to go over basic baby safety with us as a requirement, and then asked if we had any questions about feeding, sleeping, diapering, etc before we left. We couldn't even think of any questions! Crazy. Dalton was playing outside with my mom when we pulled up, and he went crazy when he saw our car. It was the best reunion.


This is certainly not an example of my best writing. I keep thinking of a million things I want to say on the blog, but have no time to type any of it up. I'll never understand how a tiny little creature that sleeps approximately 23.5 hours a day takes up so much time to care for. 

So on a scale of 1-10...how awesome are babies? Definitely a 10 in my book.

If you selected 2 or lower...how awesome was Game of Thrones last night? AMAZING, right?